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Synthesis of O-serogroup specific positive controls and real-time PCR standards for nine clinically relevant non-O157 STECs

Conrad, C.C., Gilroyed, B.H., McAllister, T.A., Reuter, T. (2012). Synthesis of O-serogroup specific positive controls and real-time PCR standards for nine clinically relevant non-O157 STECs, 91(1), 52-56. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mimet.2012.07.007

Abstract

Non-O157 Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are gaining recognition as human pathogens, but no standardized method exists to identify them. Sequence analysis revealed that STEC can be classified on the base of variable O antigen regions into different O serotypes. Polymerase chain reaction is a powerful technique for thorough screening and complex diagnosis for these pathogens, but requires a positive control to verify qualitative and/or quantitative DNA-fragment amplification. Due to the pathogenic nature of STEC, controls are not readily available and cell culturing of STEC reference strains requires biosafety conditions of level 2 or higher. In order to bypass this limitation, controls of stacked O-type specific DNA-fragments coding for primer recognition sites were designed to screen for nine STEC serotypes frequently associated with human infection. The synthetic controls were amplified by PCR, cloned into a plasmid vector and transferred into bacteria host cells. Plasmids amplified by bacterial expression were purified, serially diluted and tested as standards for real-time PCR using SYBR Green and TaqMan assays. Utility of synthetic DNA controls was demonstrated in conventional and real-time PCR assays and validated with DNA from natural STEC strains. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

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